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Iraqi Forces Recapture Mosque Compound In Mosul; Trump To Meet With Putin At G20 Summit In Germany; Trump Under Fire For Vicious Attack On News Anchors; Top Vatican Official Charges With Sexual Offenses; Hero Cop Describes Fight With London Attackers; Partial Travel Ban Set to Go Into Effect; High-Risk Operation to Save Malawi's Elephants. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET



[15:00:03] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. Let's get right to our breaking news. A major defeat for ISIS in Mosul is

looming. Iraqi forces have recaptured a mosque compound at the very heart of the terrorist self-declared caliphate.

This is leading the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to say that we are now seeing the end of the fake ISIS state. However, despite that huge symbolic

victory, the battle for Mosul itself is not over.

You're seeing CNN video here shot inside Mosul as the battle rage today. In a moment, we'll have full analysis of the military challenges on the

ground for anti-ISIS fighters.

But we begin with Nick Paton Walsh, who has been covering the fight from the frontlines giving us an incredible firsthand look at the street by

street warfare. Nick joins me now from Erbil.

Tell us a little bit more because we did hear some conflicting information from Iraqi sources that first that Mosul was just about liberated but then

from others that it could still take a few days. What did you see on the ground today?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We heard some surprise announcements from Iraqi military officials that the mosque has in

fact been taken by their soldiers because we were still witnessing an intense battle for it.

Now that was continuing at 3:00 this afternoon when we left and frankly the commanders there said to us they hadn't taken the mosque and they didn't

feel necessarily in the hours ahead that was imminent.

But still if you were to cast the statements you might say that because the mosque itself has been destroyed and it's impossible for anyone to get

inside at that moment because they are worried about booby-traps and technically nobody has it because ISIS has been pushed away from it.

So maybe by default it falls into the hands of the Iraqi government. But that's technical frankly apart from those enduring the fighting on the

ground. This is a political announcement by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that Mosul was technically been liberated and that spells the end of ISIS

or Daesh within Iraq.

We've heard from the coalition, the Pentagon saying they can confirm the mosque has fallen and that is too confusing to be honest. But also too

they still believe there are days more ahead of fighting in Mosul. That is more realistic.

There are about 700 or 800 meters from that mosque compound to the river that marks the end of the remaining territory ISIS hold. But we saw it

ourselves today, civilians desperately fleeing from the rubble where they were being shelved talking of how they barely survived on water, had no


Absolute terror in (inaudible) and there could be thousands still stuck in there amongst the bunch of die=hard fighters, some of them who appeared to

have blown something in the street today.

An incredibly bloody chapter still ahead despite the overall political aura of mission accomplished -- Hala.

GORANI: Yes, and also mentioned that these fighters left whether it's a hundred or 200 or however many of them there is left in the old city.

They've booby-trapped the alley ways. They have IEDs as well to slow the advance of Iraqi forces and there are civilians there to take into account

as well. What did you see on the ground with regards to that?

WALSH: What is remarkable how painstakingly slow the advance is with these Special Forces. You know, this morning's operation had frankly been

heralded for a couple of days, and you know, given the political stakes really here, it was extraordinary how this one elite unit, valiant as they

were, but smaller in number seemed to do a lot of the fighting themselves.

But they had a very difficult task going to the fact that pretty much wherever you look, there is the risk potentially of a booby-trap being

installed by ISIS, by the human shields too.

We saw how they frankly had to use bulldozers to clear vast amounts of rubble out of the way to gain access towards the mosque compound. But the

real question of how many civilians are still in that area held by ISIS is sort of the north, east, southeast chunk of the old city.

Very dense series of war like streets that lead towards the river itself behind it. The key (inaudible) how many civilians are in there is really

hard to find. It's incredibly difficult to know.

We know they are being held as human shields to some degree. There are some suggestions some may in fact be closer to ISIS as family members and

others simply being held hostage there.

We are dealing with a very difficult few days ahead, not simply because the Baghdad government has kind of brushed this under the carpet to some degree

by saying victory has been achieved, but because there are so many thousands of innocent lives hanging in the balance -- Hala.

GORANI: Right. And we just saw those bulldozers, by the way, in some of that footage there from your report, which we'll see later in the hour from

the frontlines there getting rid of some of the rubble in order to make their way toward the mosque and other significant sites.

Nick Paton Walsh, our senior international correspondent, on the ground in Erbil. Thanks very much.

Let's get more now on the significance of all of this in Mosul. We are joined by retired Lt. General Mark Hertling. He spent 37 years in the

U.S. Army serving of that time in Iraq.

So I mean, whether it's one day, 10 days, 15 days, I mean, really in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. Mosul is lost to ISIS.

The question is what comes next?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Hala, that's the key question and great reporting by Nick Paton Walsh. What I would say

there are still a lot of fighting that needs to be done in Mosul as Nick said, the (inaudible) have been extremely brave and courageous over these

last some nine months that this fight has been ongoing with Iraqi Security Forces around the perimeter of Mosul.

I've fought there before. It's a very difficult city and even in saying that, I'm a little hesitant to even say that, Hala, because when I fought

there, it was several weeks of fighting. They have been doing this for months.

The energy of the ISIS fighters is much greater than al Qaeda. They have provided a much tougher enemy to the Iraqi Security Forces, and the ISF has

unfortunately received many casualties during this operation.

But the fight isn't over. Mr. Al-Abadi wanted to declare a psychological victory to the people of Iraq that Mosul has been regained. There were

still be a lot of soldiers in that city continuing as you said a minute ago, getting rid of IEDs, taking care of sniper positions, finding where

the tunnels and the booby-trapped complexes are, those will always be there.

But there is also ISIS throughout Iraq remaining that needs to be taken care of. Though it is not wiped out --

GORANI: Absolutely. But that was going to be my next point because yes, though, you regained this city. It's in ruins, so much of it, so much of

the beautiful parts of old Mosul.

Then you hold it as best you can, but these fighters and this presence and this group so long as the fundamental issues of Iraq and Syria aren't

resolved will pop up somewhere else. How do you -- how do you confront that? How do you plan for that?

HERTLING: Yes, that will Mr. al-Abadi's key action next because while he's continuing a fight ISIS in places like (inaudible) and Kirkuk Province and

still in Anbar and (inaudible) out on the Syrian border.

He is going to have to get rapidly humanitarian assistance and rebuilding aid to Mosul. I've seen Mosul destroyed in the past, nothing like it is

right now -- but it is just wiped out.

So it is billions of dollars that he is going to have to supply to that city and he is going to have to make sure it is appropriated correctly and

overcome the kind of corruptions we've seen there in the past.

At the same time, you had the Kurdish fighters and Mr. Barzani (ph) has been somewhat open recently about talking about perhaps a reform for

independence here soon for the Kurdish region.

That is going to affect Mosul and the continued fight of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad to pull all of their operations together and continue

to do the things that they need to do the things that they need to do as an emerging nation.

GORANI: Right. But you have all these issues, of course, Prime Minister al-Abadi. You have the Kurds wanting more autonomy to the point maybe

perhaps of asking for independence, complete independence from Baghdad, and then you have the Sunni population there as well. And if they continue to

feel disenfranchised that's not solving the fundamental issue.

HERTLING: That's correct. And Mr. Abadi has been very good about reaching out to the Sunnis, but they will continue to remain distrustful to a

degree. They have to see action from this Shia-led government in Baghdad before they say the fight is over.

So his biggest part of the fight is coming up next and that's what he does with the money and the aid and the rebuilding. The fight against ISIS was

difficult. This next part will be even harder.

GORANI: Mark Hertling, thanks very much for joining us with more of our breaking news and our reporting from the frontlines. Mosul perhaps days

away from total liberation, perhaps the fight will be harder with deeply entrenched ISIS combatants inside the old city.

Well, ISIS, they certainly going to come up in the meeting between these two men in July. We are now getting word that the American president,

Donald Trump, will meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, face- to-face, at the G20 Summit next month in Hamburg, Germany.

News of the meeting came during a briefing by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. McMaster also said the president had directed him to

confront what he called Russia's destabilizing behavior and deter Russia from future conflicts with the U.S.

The president has another important meeting on the agenda. He'll have dinner with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, in about three hours.

The problem is North Korea is expected there to dominate the agenda.

Mr. Trump seemed to spend, though, a lot of time tweeting about an entirely different subject today that had nothing to do with North Korea and nothing

to do with ISIS.

Let's bring in CNN political commentator, David Swerdlick, from Washington. Want to get to that tweet, get it out of the way, and then talk about these

foreign policy issues because even when you -- I'm sure you watched and listened to White House briefing today.

The tweet that Donald Trump posted about Mika Brezinski (ph) at MSNBC morning show "Anchor" saying that she'd come to Mar-a-Lago in January and

she was bleeding badly from a face lift, et cetera, et cetera.

All the questions -- I mean, it just sucks the oxygen, right, out of the press briefing. Practically all of the first 10 questions were about this

tweet, David?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right, Hala. Look, in my view, it's a sexist comment. Totally beneath the dignity of the office

of the president and as you say it distracts from the real issues of the day.

And then you have the deputy press secretary go out to the press briefing today and complained that the media were not covering more substantive,

more important issues yet the president started the news cycle with these tweets toward a host on another network, which were totally irrelevant to

anything and just a really cheap shot about someone's looks.

All around a poor form and you've had both members of the president's own party and the opposition party and people all over criticizing him and

rightly so for it.

GORANI: Right. And without sort of going into the tweet itself, we have heard, you know, senior Republicans on the Hill reacting to this saying

it's inappropriate. It's beneath the office of the presidency.

But I guess the question in terms of what our international viewers I'm sure are asking themselves is will this have an impact or will this be yet

another thing that will be forgotten in two days until the next outrage.

SWERDLICK: Well, look, I think this is far below a line that's already been set. We've gotten accustomed for better or for worse to President

Trump sending out tweets at all hours of day and night that are unlike any other statements that his predecessors have issued.

That being said even though we are getting used to them, Hala, this is something -- you know, a public tweet about someone's looks, someone he

knows, someone who has interviewed him, it really I think is going to take a few days for the dust to settle on this one.

Even though, yes, you are right eventually we will go back to talking whatever the next issue is, the next crisis is, the next outrage is.

That's how it goes in this presidency.

GORANI: We were showing there a tweet by the Republican senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, saying, "just stop it."


GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about now this meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, which is scheduled to take place we understand

according to H.R. McMaster on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Germany.

H.R. McMaster said he's been advised or he's been directed essentially to find a way to stop Russia from being a destabilizing force, but the White

House at the same time issued a statement saying they wanted to -- the relationship between Russia and the west to become a better friendlier


So that's kind of a contradiction there. What can we expect?

SWERDLICK: Well, look, there's plenty -- as you say, there's plenty for President Trump and President Putin to talk about. You've got an

opportunity -- I don't know if he'll take it for President Trump to give a private strong statement to President Putin that the reported and

documented by our intelligence services meddling in our electoral process by Russian intelligence should seize.

And what if any action the U.S. will take in response to that. There is still the ongoing issue since 2014 of Russian incursion into Crimea and

then there is all of the issues around the military involvement of Russia and other countries in Syria.

That being said, there is still this weird dynamic where President Trump throughout his campaign made these very friendly overtures, friendlier than

he was to many allies of the United States toward Russia and toward President Putin.

So we'll just have to see what comes out of that meeting in terms of whether or not President Trump will take the opportunity to press the

interest of the United States with the head of Russia.

GORANI: I'm sure everybody will be looking at the body language after his very manly handshakes with Emmanuel Macron and others. But yes,

you're mentioning the weird dynamic there. It's going to be very interesting to see what comes out of it and whether it will just be a pull

aside, which is more informal or whether it will be a formal one-on-one.

Anyway, David Swerdlick, we'll talk soon again. We're expecting, by the way, Donald Trump to make some remarks a little bit later this hour.

We'll take that and we will speak with you later.

Now to this, a chief adviser to Pope Francis and the third highest ranking official inside the Vatican is staring down multiple charges of

sexual assault in his native Australia.

Cardinal George Pell claims he's innocent, but the claims have been swirling around him for years. We will go live to Australia in a moment,

but first Anna Coren with this report.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For decades, allegations of covering up sexual abuse within the Australian Catholic

Church have dogged him. But it never stopped George Pell from rising through the ranks to become one of the Vatican's most powerful.

But now the 76-year-old cardinal himself has been charged with multiple sexual assault offenses. The result of a two-year investigation sending

shockwaves through the Vatican and around the world. Police offering few details.

SHANE PATTON, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF POLICE: Today, the Tory Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offenses.

Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrate Court on the 18th of July. Cardinal Pell is

facing multiple charges in respect to a start sexual offenses and there are multiple complaints.

COREN: Cardinal Pell is one of Pope Francis' top adviser as the secretary to the economy, he is in charge of the Vatican's finances. He was also

handpicked to sit on the pope's eight-member advisory council fit out to address issues including sexual abuse within the church.

Reading a statement from the Vatican just hours after the charges were laid, Cardinal Pell says he has endured a relentless character

assassination and that he is innocent.

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL: I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court. I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of

sexual abuse is apparent to me.

COREN: Last year, Cardinal Pell refused to return to Australia to testify before a Royal Commission into the church's mishandling of sexual abuse.

PELL: I regret that I didn't do more at that stage.

COREN: Instead he gave four days of testimony from a hotel in Rome. His doctors claiming he was too ill to fly. Survivors of sexual abuse at the

hands of clergy overseen by Pell were angered by his answers that they felt showed a lack of understanding and empathy.

This will be a monumental test for Pope Francis, who up until now has stood by the cardinal. There is no extradition treaty between Australia and the

Vatican. However, the pope has given Cardinal Pell a leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself. Anna Coren, CNN, Hongkong.


GORANI: Journalist, Sara James, joins me now live from Melbourne and our senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, is also editor of "Crux" is with us via

Skype from Denver, Colorado.

Sarah, first of all, how do we expect the cardinal to defend himself? Do we have any idea what his plan is? What his strategy is?

SARA JAMES, JOURNALIST: We don't his strategy yet, but what we do know is that Cardinal Pell has said consistently and frequently that these charges

are false. He's always maintained he's innocent. That goes back a long way.

And I think we can expect while not knowing the strategy to expect a similar line of commentary coming from him as this unfolds. Of course,

we'll know more on that very first day July 18th that is the day that he is required to appear.

We also know I think what's important is and you heard some of that in that report that what is crucial is what -- is that the base of this is this

Royal Commission.

Now this is the highest level of investigation that is offered here in Australia and this went on for a long time. It was called for in November

of 2012 and it started in April of 2013.

And day after day of harrowing testimony from victims who were raped by priests, who suffered all sorts of abuse and who were there to talk about

what had happened at the hands of pedophiles in the Catholic Church and also in other institutions.

Because that was what this Royal Commission had been called for, to look at this institutional abuse. So that's the backdrop but he is saying that he

did not do any of this.

GORANI: And I'll get to John in just a moment, but speaking of backdrop, we are seeing a beautiful church behind you. How is it connected to George


JAMES: Well, this is St. Patrick's Cathedral here in Melbourne and Cardinal Pell started in a town about an hour from here, a gold rush town

called "Ballarat," and that's a country town.

And he really had a meteoric rise and during part of that time, he served behind me, at St. Patrick's as the archbishop of the Arch Diocese then went

from here to Sydney and from Sydney on to the Vatican.

And again, has this illustrious career, but the questions really up until this were really about had he done enough to kind of root out the problem

of these pedophile priests, and now the question, was he guilty of these historical sexual assault offenses.

And exactly what those are, we don't know. Those were not released by the police.

GORANI: All right, and John Allen, is this a big crisis for Pope Francis? I mean, he's the third highest ranking official at the Vatican?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, I think exactly how big a crisis it turns out to be, the pope, Hala, depends upon what happens when

George Pell returns to Australia and undergoes this trial.

If he's exonerated and if that finding is received and accepted, this might be a sort of blip on the radar screen and George Pell himself as he

returned to the Vatican in a strengthened position.

If on the other hand, this trial goes forward and he is indeed found guilty and that verdict is seen to be based on reasonable evidence, then sure,

this is a major problem for the pope.

I mean, there is nothing in recent memory that stands up alongside sexual abuse scandals the Catholic Church is facing. But in terms of what cancer

it has been, some people think you have to go back to the process of information to find something else the church to its core quite like this.

And if the very first (inaudible) is convicted of sexual abuse and their very senior Vatican official is connected to sexual abuse then obviously

that puts a massive exclamation point on just what a nightmare this has been for the Catholic Church.

But that of course is getting ahead of ourselves because we always have to say an indictment is not the same thing as a conviction and even the police

in the state of Victoria had acknowledged that Cardinal Pell is entitled (inaudible) of innocence until he's found guilty of a crime.

GORANI: Right. And Sara, John, was talking about how it could be a crisis if indeed he goes through a trial and is found guilty. How long is this

all expected to take?

JAMES: No one has given us any estimate of how long it's going to take, but I will say one thing, it has taken a long time so far and the police

have proceeded very slowly and painstakingly and were right to mention the fact that they said in that press conference, and it was really quite


You know, they've really laid out the point that this is not -- none of these charges have been seen in the courtroom yet, so due process, they

also said something else.

They said that they treated this situation in exactly the same way that they preceded with any other similar cases that they didn't do

anything differently despite the fact that this is such a high ranking person.

So again, it's time to get to this stage and the cardinal has said that he is innocent of the charges and everyone will have their day in


GORANI: Thank you so much, Sara James in Melbourne, John Allen in Denver. We appreciate it.

A lot more to come this evening. "I took a deep breath and then charged in," a policeman hailed as a hero describes the moment he

confronted three attackers near London Bridge.


GORANI: There is a verdict in the 2015 murder of prominent Russian opposition figure, Boris Nemtsov. The Russian state news agency says the

jury convicted five Chechen men. Sentencing is expected next week.

The Putin critic was shot in the back inside of the kremlin. Critics including Nemtsov's daughter is saying investigators haven't established a

motive or revealed who ordered the killing.

Media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, has hit a snag in his effort to add full control of British pay TV group, Sky, to his empire. The U.K. culture

secretary says the deal could give the Murdoch family too much influence over British media and she's inclined to launch an in-depth investigation

of the takeover.


KAREN BRADLEY, BRITISH CULTURE SECRETARY: The proposed entity would have the third largest total reach of any news provider lower only than the BBC

and ITM, and which uniquely spam news coverage on television, radio, in newspapers, and online.

"Offcam's" report states that the proposed transaction would give the Murdoch family trust material influence over news providers with a

significant presence across all key platforms.


GORANI: Well, Bradley says Sky and 21 Century Fox have until July 14th to respond to her concerns.

Now to this, you all remember the attack on London Bridge. He was armed with only a baton, but confronted three attackers with knives head on. A

policeman is being praised as a hero for his brave actions during the London terrorist attacks on June 3rd. Phil Black has more on this story --


PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, after Police Officer Wayne Marques was injured fighting off three men with knives on

London Bridge. He released a statement saying he was just doing his job. We now know how extraordinary that job was.

Marques has recovered enough to describe the moment he realized something wasn't right in the night of June the 3rd. He heard screaming, saw a woman

running, and a man falling down.

As he noticed a man with a knife, Marques says he reached for his baton and this is what happened next.


WAYNE MARQUES, POLICE OFFICER: I took a deep breath and then charged in. I charged that (inaudible) wang (ph) as hard as I could. I was planning to

take his head off in one go and I just put him down straight away.

He looked and he sees me coming up the last second and he managed to get a hand up pull both his hands up. Then while I'm fighting the first one, I

got a massive wack to the right side of my head.

It felt like a metal bar at first, only after once I realized it was a knife.


BLACK: Marques says that blow to the head instantly shutdown his vision in his right eye. It just went dark and then he found himself fighting off

all three attackers. With his head bleeding, he also suffered a long deep stab wound to his left hip and he says a finger was sliced in two.

As he realized he was badly hurt, Marques says he swang his baton wildly at all three repeatedly thinking don't go down. The fight became a standoff

and just as Marques thought the men were about to rush him, they ran away.

Just minutes later, those men were shot dead by armed police officers and Wayne Marques lost consciousness. The police officer said his only thought

that night was to keep people alive and he often thinks about the eight people who didn't survive -- Hala.

GORANI: Thanks very much, Phil Black.

Coming up, a remarkable site, we are not talking about conflict or politics, we are talking about this -- 500 elephants drugged, lifted by

crane, and transported hundreds of miles away. We'll tell you why after this. It's an exclusive report.


[15:31:52] GORANI: Iraq's Prime Minister says we're seeing the end of the fake state of ISIS. The government is claiming victory after its forces

recaptured a highly symbolic mosque compound in Mosul today.

However, a coalition spokesman says it could take days or perhaps even weeks for the city to be fully liberated. Our reporter on the ground as

well, Nick Paton Walsh, says fighting is still ongoing.

A chief adviser to Pope Francis is facing multiple sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia. Cardinal George Pell is the third

highest-ranking official in the Vatican. He says he is innocent and will fight to clear his name.

The American President, Donald Trump, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will have their first ever face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of

the G-20 Summit in Germany next week. It was confirmed by the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. It is not known whether or not the

leaders will address the accusations against Russia for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Let's take you live to Washington now where President Donald Trump is speaking at his summit on American energy. We will report more if he says

anything important, if he mentions the tweet -- the two-parter tweet that he sent today criticizing Mika Brzezinski, an NBC News anchor.

Or if he says anything newsworthy about North Korea as we're learning, according to reports, that the U.S. is considering all options to respond

to North Korea, including potentially military options, or if he mentions his upcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Now, just hours from now, the Trump administration is putting its revised travel ban into effect. It goes into effect at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

tonight. That's just 4-1/2 hours from now.

Travel Ban 2.0, as it's being called, is a win for the U.S. President. The ban has been tied up in courts for months, but a decision from the U.S.

Supreme Court this week is allowing parts of the executive order to proceed.

The revised ban states that people from these six Muslim majority nations must prove a, quote, close family, business, or school relationship in the

United States. The administration argues that it cannot properly vet people traveling from these countries.

Those considered to have a close relationship under the policy include a parent, a spouse, a child, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, or a sibling.

You might notice that other extended family members, like grandparents or fiancees, for instance, are not on that list.

Laura Jarrett is live in Washington following the story. Laura, who will decide whether or not this person applying for a visa from one of these six

countries indeed has a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Hala, in the first instance where you will see this play out is in the consular offices abroad. So not here in

the U.S., but internationally, when someone goes to their office and tries to apply for a visa and either has a close family connection or doesn't.

That's where you will see this play out.

[15:35:04] Of course, back in January, most of the chaos that ensued at the airports here in the U.S. happened because people were in the air when the

executive order came down. This time, it will be very different.

So people we who are traveling here are protected. But if someone doesn't have a proper visa and is not permitted to come into the country under this

revised executive order, they will not be even allowed to get on to a plane. So I think the administration there is trying to avoid some of the

pandemonium that we saw back in January.

GORANI: And how long will this stay in effect?

JARRETT: So there's a 90-day ban for foreign nationals coming from those six Muslim majority countries that you identified. But there's also a 120-

day ban on all refugees coming from any country.

Now, in both categories, the petitioner can try to apply for a waiver. So even if you don't have a close family connection or you aren't employed

here in the U.S., you can try to say, look, I have an extenuating circumstance, perhaps a sick friend living in the U.S., and so I would like

to apply for a waiver.

But the administration has not provided very many details on exactly how that's going to work and what the standards they're going to use to apply

for somebody in that situation.

GORANI: But we've heard so many examples of people detained at airports, and this has nothing to do with the travel ban because it wasn't in effect

at the time. I personally know people who are passport holders of some of these countries who've had visas denied despite the fact they have family

in the U.S. Why is that happening more now, even though there is, technically speaking, no travel ban?

JARRETT: Well, that might be a different issue. Certainly, even without the travel ban, you know, consular offices have a wide range of discretion

about who comes in and out of the country.

But I think, today, you will see, certainly, more disputes and perhaps even more litigation because, even though the bona fide standard that the

Supreme Court set forth gives examples of who's allowed to come in, for instance, a student who has been admitted here in the U.S. or somebody who

is employed here in the U.S. or, obviously, someone, as we mentioned, who has family here, there are going to be close recalls.

And especially for refugees. For instance, imagine somebody who started the application process but perhaps hasn't been allowed to have an

interview yet, isn't quite all the way through the process, there's issues about what happens to someone in that situation. So still many questions

to come, Hala.

GORANI: Right, certainly. Thanks very much, Laura Jarrett, in D.C. for that report.

Now, as promised before the break, the incredible images you're about to see. Every day in Africa is a race against time to stop elephants from

going extinct. In some parts of Malawi, elephant herds have outgrown their shrinking habitats, so they're being relocated en masse.

It's a bold and high-risk idea as CNN's David McKenzie found out when he got exclusive access to the operation.


KESTER VICKERY, CO-FOUNDER, CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS: We're going to start with a group of four.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The chase led from the air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's another pretty (ph) group of four, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copied. On our way.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Capture teams at the ready. This is conservation on its absolute largest scale. A record translocation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) she's gone down, although the other one is still quite wide-awake there.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Not just a single elephant, entire herds darted.

VICKERY: We need to take a cohesive group, right from the oldest matriarch down to the smallest baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hang on me (ph). Here she comes. Hold on.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): For the continent's most iconic species, the stakes are couldn't be higher.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Wow.

ANDREW PARKER, JOINT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, AFRICAN PARKS: Yes. Look here on the left. I mean, a large herd of elephants. It's -- this is how

elephants should be, you know, in their natural habitat.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Tens of thousands lost each year, but not in Liwonde.

PARKER: There are maybe 20 elephants in a herd over there.

MCKENZIE (on camera): They've been so successful in this part in protecting their elephants that, you know, there's too many here.

Humans and elephants are competing for space. Humans are poaching elephants for their ivory. The idealistic view of Africa as this vast,

open landscape where animals can move freely from point A to point B, that doesn't exist anymore.

VICKERY: We'll take it straight round.

PARKER: We can now link effectively managed protected areas across Africa, moving elephants from areas where management has been successful and

effective into areas where elephants have been depleted. And what we're doing here now demonstrates that scale is not a limitation.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But the operation isn't without risks.

VICKERY: Stay in the vehicle.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): An adolescent stops breathing. Every time an elephant goes down, its massive weight becomes a danger to itself. This is

just one of 500 elephants they hoped to move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to stop, guys.

[15:40:00] MCKENZIE (voice-over): But with the very survival of the species at stake, each one is precious.

MCKENZIE (on camera): You were doing everything you can to try and revive that animal?

VICKERY: Yes. We tried to resuscitate the animal for probably 10 or 15 minutes. But we literally -- yes, within a minute or two, and it's just

too late.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And there are pioneering new methods to lessen the danger.

PARKER: Yes. We try and keep the strains on the animals low as possible, get them into the crate as quickly possible, wake them up quickly as

possible. That reduces the time under anesthesia, reduces the risk.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The epic journey north starts the same day, too. It will be repeated several times over the next six weeks for each new


MCKENZIE (on camera): What do you see over there?

SAMUEL KAMOTO, PARK MANAGER, NKHOTAKOTA WILDLIFE RESERVE: There is an elephant in there. And so we brought in six elephants in here last night.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): There used to be 1,500 elephants in. Poachers slaughtered all but 70. But as the gate opens for the new arrivals, Sam

Kamoto is confident.

MCKENZIE (on camera): Is the future bright for elephants in Malawi?

KAMOTO: The future looks bright, indeed. It is almost -- obviously, they have traveled a long distance, and finally they are going out into sort of

freedom. There is hope now that we can save this species.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): His team has secured the park for this very moment. It's rebirth.

David McKenzie, CNN, Malawi.


GORANI: Well, speaking of animals, we'll be introducing you to today's latest wild animal discoveries all around the globe. Join experts as they

tweet along with this interactive show's debut on CNN.

It's live on CNN International at 9:15 in London, 4:15 a.m. Eastern Time. It's called "WILD DISCOVERIES." It's on at 9:15. "CNN Inspirations" is

the hashtag to tweet along with our expert panel.

We'll be right back. Stay with us.


GORANI: Let's return to our developing breaking new story. That is the final push to drive ISIS out of Mosul.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has been covering the story from the frontlines, and we just now got his latest exclusive report. Take a look.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Winning here comes only with dusk and ruin.

This was a day Iraqi Special Forces were meant to take back the symbolic al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul's old city, but it ended up the day their leaders

declared victory while they were still bitterly fighting.

PATON WALSH (on camera): Just literally to the side of the mosque is where ISIS have been.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): The aim was to encircle the sacred minaret ISIS themselves destroyed.

Yet they've lost so many to ISIS, they move carefully against an enemy, even with high tech help, they rarely see.

[15:45:07] When an ISIS fighter is spotted, the artillery rains down, throughout the day. There is political impatience for this fight to be


In the afternoon, news reports cited Iraqi officials elsewhere are saying the mosque had been retaken. A bizarre scene, given how lethally,

painstakingly, they were advancing.

Huge political stakes here for Iraq, yet this fight is spearheaded by a few dozen men and two bulldozers. They borrow a drone. Alas, it had been shot


PATON WALSH (on camera): ISIS have been relatively quiet during the day, but it seems the drone put up in the sky to work out more about their

defensive position sent some incoming rounds towards us here.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): More gun fire exchanges. And as they grind slowly towards the edge of the mosque, more Iraqi officials announce they

have retaken it.

But that's just politics and here is the ghastly reality. Civilians held as human shield by ISIS risking death to flee from its certainty.

They're held back, feared as possible suicide bombers. But the agony becomes too much. There is nothing really to say when hell is behind you

and just dust before you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We've been shelled in rubble.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): The injured piggybacked out. Fear, so strong it let this woman walk on her leg to get her family out. A mortar landed on

their home, is the only word little Touka (ph) can say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They've been no liquids for days. We had only water. My little ones were dying of hunger. We didn't

see anybody, no ISIS, only the military.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): This day, perhaps prematurely, Iraq declared ISIS vanquished, yet their three years have likely consumed all of hers.

And the ruins from which she fled and in which ISIS lay will take more than declarations of victory to rebuild.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mosul, Iraq.


GORANI: Staggering destruction there, Nick Patton Walsh, without peace from the frontlines.

Coming up, Republicans and Democrats have found something to agree on today. It's not policy, instead it's the U.S. President's tweets. The

latest drama coming from the White House next.


GORANI: Donald Trump is facing backlash after he posted a pair of crude tweets first thing on Thursday morning. The subjects of his attack are the

co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

This is what the U.S. President tweeted, quote, I heard poorly rated "Morning Joe" speaks badly of me. Don't watch anymore. Then how come low

I.Q. crazy Mika along with psycho Joe came to Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row around New Year's Eve and insisted on joining me? She was bleeding

badly from a facelift. I said no!, close quote.

[15:50:01] Brzezinski responded with this, a photo of the cereal brand Cheerios, emblazoned with a slogan, "Made for little hands," presumably a

reference to Mr. Trump who has been ridiculed in the past for having small hands.

When it was brought up at the White House press briefing, the Deputy Press Secretary defended her boss.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that the President has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by mirrors

on that program, and I think he has been very clear that when he gets attacked, he's going to hit back.

I think the American people elected somebody who is tough, who is smart, and who is a fighter. And that's Donald Trump. And I don't think that

it's a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire.


GORANI: Brian Stelter, our CNN MONEY senior media correspondent, joins me now live form New York.

What is going on because this tweet is just taking it to a whole new level, Brian?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It's beyond the pale. It's the most recent example of offensive tweet from the President of the United

States, but it is in character with we've seen from President Trump in the past.

When you think back to the campaign days, during the transition, and now post inauguration day. We continue to see a lot of anti-media rhetoric and

occasionally, very personal language.

What's being pointed out about these two tweets today is, number one, he is going after this female co-host about her physical traits, not the male co-

host about his physical feature. So he is targeting the woman, not the man in this matter. This is reminiscent of his attacks against Megyn Kelly and

other female news personalities.

And then, number two, it gets to this broader sense of, is anyone reviewing the President's tweets ahead of time? Is there any strategy, whatsoever,

at the White House about communications, or is it all just -- are we all just hanging on by a tweet?

I think the latter is true right now. We're all just sort of --

GORANI: But we're hearing --

STELTER: -- waiting to see what he tweets next.

GORANI: And we're hearing from Republicans, so members of the President's own party condemn this -- Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, others, representatives

in the House as well.

But will it change anything though, or it is just -- we're outraged, they are, you know, expressing outrage today until the next tweet where they'll

express outrage, but nothing will really change politically?

STELTER: Well, I don't want to be cynical, but I think you're on something there. It's hard to see what would change.

We have seen Republicans that have reluctantly worked with the President try to have an arm's length from the President but still try to achieve

policy goals. And we are seeing an ongoing conversation about trying to get this health care bill and tax cut done. The President working with the

Republican senators on that.

If they can accomplish policy objectives, they're going to continue to work with the President and hold their nose about his tweets. But this is the

kind of story that's going to be across the windows tonight, in the newspapers tomorrow, all over the web.

GORANI: All right.

STELTER: They continue the conversation about the President's character, about what kind of role model he is. You know, MSNBC, the network that

employs Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, said it's a sad day for America when the President spends his time bullying, lying, and spewing

petty personal attacks instead of doing his job. I think that that really --

GORANI: Yes, and the Deputy --

STELTER: -- kind of sums it up really well.

GORANI: The Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- oh, and by the way, before I get to that, I understand that the President went after

CNN again in his speech at the energy summit in D.C. just minutes ago.

STELTER: Yes. It's one of these jokes he makes that really appeals to his crowds of fans. He says, oh, well, CNN's fake news. I look -- looked at

the camera, they just turned camera off. They're not showing me anymore.

Every time he says that, it's untrue. CNN and the U.S. is carrying his speech live, but it's the latest example of him lambasting CNN. All week

long, we've seen anti -media attacks, against CNN on Tuesday, against "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" on Wednesday, against MSNBC,

today, on Thursday.

So this is a threat from the President. He has tweeted a lot more about the media than about the health care bill. He's tweeted a lot more about

the media than about Syria. If you judge his priorities based on what he is tweeting, he is a lot more interested in us than improving America or

improving the world.

GORANI: Well, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as I was saying before that last question, the Deputy Press Secretary said, you guys don't talk enough about

policy. You don't talk enough about foreign policy, about the health care bill, about national security. You talk about Russia and other things.

I mean, but it's difficult to focus on policy, as you said though, Brian, when the President himself is not tweeting about policy.

STELTER: He seems to want the conversation to be about Mika Brzezinski's face. I can't believe I'm saying that, but, you know, the President is

watching T.V. in the morning. He is getting outraged about what he is hearing, so he picks up the phone, and he can't control that impulse to


And by the way, we shouldn't have to do this, but let's put the picture of Mika up on screen. I think she wants it known that, actually, her face

wasn't bloody that night at Mar-a-Lago.

[15:55:01] Actually, there weren't bandages all over her face. It was offensive, what the President said, but it was also inaccurate. So if

you're keeping tract at home of how many inaccurate, false messages this President has posted on Twitter, you're going to have to add another one to

the list today.

GORANI: But lastly, so he's tweeting a lot about journalists, about Mika, about Joe Scarborough, about CNN, almost every single day. What is he

getting out of it? Is it just playing to his base? What is the strategy behind it, or is it just pure impulse?

STELTER: Watching him very closely and watching his anti-media attacks, I chalk it up mostly to impulse. But then the President and his aides do

recognize that the most loyal part of his base shares his anti-media resentment.

Not his entire base. If you look at the 38, 39 percent of Americans who say they approve of the President, I don't think that entire group is as

critical of the press as the President is. But the most loyal supporters, the ones that might shape public opinion on social media, for example, and

defend the President no matter what, they do share his hatred of these newspapers and these networks. And that does tap into it.

GORANI: Brian Stelter, our CNN Senior Media Correspondent, thanks very much. Joining us from New York.

STELTER: Thanks.

GORANI: Speak to you soon.


GORANI: Now, to something completely different. Just over 700 years ago, not exactly breaking news, King Edward II of England upset MPs by banning

suits of armor from the House of Commons. Times have changed, my friends.

From today, male British members of Parliament are no longer required to wear a tie. Parliamentarians are still expected to dress in business-like

attire -- no shorts or tank tops, obviously -- but the fashion police have put a stop to MPs getting hot under the collar.

By the way, you might be surprised to hear this, we checked in with Congress in America and their dress code has not changed. Congressmen are

still expected to wear a coat and tie, whatever the weather.

But now, officially, in Britain, the dress code is more relaxed than in America. Believe it or not.

Check out our Facebook page, Thanks for watching, everybody. I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow.

I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next after a break.